Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Quick-to-Make Bird Brooch Tutorial

 I have to admit that this is a variation on an idea that I saw in Quilting Arts Magazine last year - but sufficiently different that I feel that I can share it with you!

It's a continuation of a the photos of fabric playing that I've been doing recently - using a leftover 1/2 sheet of printable fabric that I had lying on top of my printer! (Top tip, if you project doesn't take up a whole page of printable fabric, just peel off the part that you've printed on and cut it off, leaving the backing paper complete, and you'll be able to run it through the printer again when you are ready with another idea).

1) Start off with a photo of a bird.  I turned mine into a grey tone photo, and added a coloured border to it, and printed them out at 2" x 3" or so.
 2)  Next add colour back in with Inktense pencils - I had fun inventing my own bird plumage.
 3) Lay the printed sheet onto a piece of felt.  It will only just be visible when you finish, so don't worry too much about the colour, but choose something that won't clash with the next border fabric you choose if possible.

4) Start adding colour and texture with machine stitching - or hand stitching if you prefer.
 5) Carry on building up your stitching.
 6) Keep going until you are happy with the effects!
 7) Now cut the picture apart.  I like the pinking rotary cutter for this as it makes them look like postage stamps.
 8) Lay the pictures onto another piece of backing fabric and cut out with an 1/8" border.  (I put each piece on the fabric with the bottom and left hand sides aligned with fabric edge, and then cut with an extra 1/4" along the top and right hand edges.  Then I can line the piece up in the centre to get the narrow border that I want).
 9) Now lay these pieces onto a piece of coordinating felt and cut the final 1/8" border.  You may choose between straight and wavy cutting on all these edges!
10) Using either a straight stitch or a tiny zig zag stitch, stitch through all the layers near the edge of the printed layer.  It makes an internal 'frame' and attaches all the layers together neatly.

11) Finally, hand sew a brooch back to the backing felt.

12) Admire your finished brooches (probably before wrapping them up as delightful presents for friends and family)!

You could make Christmas themed brooches with robins or reindeer, you can add beads and bling, you can ring the changes to suit what yourself.

Have fun with them!

If you have a few more minutes spare, you might like to make sock snowmen like me and a couple of my gal pals.
Tutorial here - very quick and easy, needing just one sock, three elastic bands, some rice and some felt scraps.


  1. Haven't you been having fun!!!! I've got a box of inktense somewhere, haven't used them for ages! Did you wet them? Of leave them dry?

  2. Hi Plum, what a cutey! I love this little project but am a bit afraid to make a start myself, as I'm pretty sure it gets addictive ?!


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